This is where our politics has carried the abortion debate, where our so-called leaders and voters have allowed it to be carried. The abortion debate now lacks even the pretense of comity. No one seeks to reconcile rational, competing claims. Because the issue is so personal—it strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a person with life and agency—our discussions ought to remind us of our humanity and frailty. Instead, our toxic politics has taught us that to acknowledge nuance is to make ourselves vulnerable and exposed. How comfortable have we become using politics as an immoral weapon in the name of our self-assured moral cause? This is, in the most favorable light, what Ainsworth decided to do. But how moral could his cause be if he is willing to advance it in such an immoral manner?

We are not dealing with public servants here—not if the title is anything more than a euphemism. Instead, we have politicians supported by advocacy groups and moneyed interests whose goal is to attain whatever level of power is necessary to act unilaterally. This is what a representative democracy looks like when stripped of trust, respect, virtue, and sense of community.